Why this Award?

With the Award for Best Financial Communication we aim to reward the Belgian listed companies that stand out in terms of communication with the financial community. Good financial communication is a necessity, in good times as well as in bad times. Companies must be clear about their past achievements, but equally about their plans and objectives. Shareholders and (potential) investors must be informed correctly. Analysts have a vital role to play here. They assist investors in identifying risk and reward potential, translating company data, sector knowledge and forecasting skills in stock valuations and recommendations.

Our main goal is to encourage companies to keep investing in good quality information and communication. The corporate competition is out there and is not standing still. Also, Belgian companies have to benchmark against international peers. For smaller companies, in particular, excellent financial communication is crucial to attract the attention of national and international investors. For all companies screened, the Award is an interesting tool to find out about the – real or perceived – strengths and weaknesses of their financial information and communication practices. This can definitely help them to attract and keep the shareholders they want or need.

The importance of the Award can hardly be underestimated given its long track record. In 2020, we will celebrate the Award’s 60th anniversary!

Process

In a first phase, we select the companies that will be screened based on all relevant aspects of financial information and communication, such as press releases, annual report,… Although members of the financial press and investor associations have participated in the past, local financial analysts continue to play a crucial role in the screening process. We are proud that almost all Belgian analyst teams are represented.

The arrival of the euro was a breakthrough for cross border investing, taking away currency risk. As a result, Belgian listed companies made it more frequently onto the radar screens of international investors and analysts. That is why as of 2011 we invited analysts from a number of analyst teams outside Belgium to take part in the screening. Since then, we have continued our efforts to broaden the commitment of analysts from outside Belgium.

The survey typically runs from June to September and spans the preceding 12-month period. The results are made public in October and the Awards are represented during the ABAF Awards Ceremony.